Commonly Confused Confusion

Posted by Shari Thayn on

As part of this blog, I’d like to explore a pair of homonyms or commonly confused words and hopefully shed a little light on using the correct one in the correct places.

 We’ll begin with one of my personal pet peeves of a pair of commonly confused words. Not only is this word often used incorrectly in print but it is astonishing how often it is misspoken aloud in movies, television shows, news broadcasts, you name it. Drumroll please...

Cavalry and Calvary.

 Once and for all:


As in here comes the cavalry to the rescue.

And Calvary:

A hill in Jerusalem. 

Yes, they sound similar but there isn’t even the excuse of two words that are spelled and pronounced the same—they’re not! They’re two completely different words! So why do so many people misuse them! Okay, tantrum over. All together now, cavalry—to the rescue; Calvary—a place in Jerusalem.

 Grammar Punk Commonly Confused Sentence:

 Heaving a lofty sigh of relief, Stella saw the herd of caterpillars cresting the hill; The Butterfly Festival would go on, the cavalry had arrived!

 Of all the places she’d visited on her vacation, the visit to Calvary was the most moving.

Give it a try. Roll a set of Grammar Punk Dice, follow the roll and create your own sentences whilst you and your students once and for all ingrain this particular pair into your brains and stop misusing it!

And yes, I'm talking to you television and movie writers. If nothing else it might keep me from actually screaming at the television set the next time some actor states dramatically that, the calvary has arrived!